Did I Tell You The One Where Christmas Break Would Not End?

1476175_10202797128275919_1196886460_nTeachers everywhere were rejoicing. Of that I have no doubt. It started all extra-nice. (See above photo for evidence.)  It was snowy outside, warm and cozy inside, and the boys loved each other. I was having visions of piling up on the soda, toasty warm, watching our favorite movies, reading our favorite books. Cocoa would be in hand, complete with marshmallows. Zach in his footed pj’s, Evan in his flannel sleep pants, me in sweats.  The world shut out, and the ones I love shut in against the cold. There was no school for me, and only my 3 scheduled days of work per week. It was going to be great.

Then this happened:1480549_10202798469749455_592936327_nIt snowed. I love our street in the snow. The houses look so cute and cozy, the neighborhood becomes a Thomas Kinkade painting. We put up the Christmas tree together. This year, Zachy was really able to  participate, which was adorable. I kicked the OCD into low gear as he put the ornaments too close together, and somehow resisted the urge to tweak them ever-so-slightly the entire time that tree was up.

This year, I even managed to somehow get all of the Christmas presents for the boys wrapped before anyone knew what they were getting. This was about as successful a Christmas as I could’ve asked for, considering some of our previous misadventures. The whole next day, the boys broke  played with their new things. Then Evan remembered how fun toys can be when you are only 3, and Santa brings you things like racetracks for toy cars or little train sets. And it dawned on Zachy just how cool big-kid stuff can be.

Magic: Over. Bubble: Burst.

Next thing we knew, there were fights. “Mommy, Evan did________.”, squealed Zach. “Mom! Zach has my _______.”, whined Evan. And so it went all the way up through the end of their Christmas break. It seemed like the longest one in the history of winter breaks. I seriously thought I was going to die. To make matters worse, I was fresh out of school. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t have that distraction. With me home more, John felt he deserved a break, and left most parenting matters to me. I’m certain the grey hairs on my head have multiplied as a result.

The eve of their first day back to school, I was working the ICU. It really is a good thing my patient was in a medically-induced coma and couldn’t hear me or tell on me. The tv in his room was turned to the news, where I saw the update where the boys’ first day back was called off due to weather.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

I’m sure my wail reverberated off of the walls of the ICU, into the adjacent waiting area and throughout the rest of the hospital. Nurses from outside the room rushed in to see what had happened, as I’m not generally an alarmist at work.

That day. That day I had been dreaming of, hoping for, wishing on….My hopes were crushed. My spirit broken.

The fighting a home got worse as cabin fever started in. Snow kept dumping on us. Just when it would start to clear up, more would come. And then it didn’t. The boys were finally going to go back to school. I was relieved, and by that time, I think they were as sick of us as we were of them causing chaos.

And then that “Polar Vortex” bullshit happened. Anyone remember the “I can’t put my arms down” scene in A Christmas Story? Well, we will never have a modern-day version of that. They cancelled school because it was too cold. For not one day, but days-yep, plural. When we were kids, our parents would just bundle us up. We waited a little closer to last minute to go to our bus stops. But our bus stops weren’t at our driveway, either. Generally, we had to walk. If it was dangerously cold–as in losing digits to frost bite despite gloves or mittens—my mom would crank the heat in the car to warm it up while I was getting ready and then drive me to the bus stop, where I would sit in the car until the bus was in sight. The lowest it got here was 2 degrees, and I am sure that I remember it getting a lot colder. As a matter of fact, I just googled that and discovered we had temps as low as -25 in 1985 in Cincinnati. But they closed school. There was no snow or ice on the ground, no slick roads, no frozen pipes at the school. It was just cold.

It seemed like winter break was never going to end. John and I were never going to have a single moment of peace. Armageddon was going to strike, Hell was freezing over, and we would have to home-school the children from now on. I was on the verge, man.

Finally, on January 10th, the boogers got on the bus and headed back. They were out of school for 29 days in total. I sincerely hope they tack the extra unplanned missed days onto the end of the school year. I am now on a mission to treasure every moment of silence until June, and promise to never take a peaceful moment for granted for as long as I live.

Finally,

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The President Drove By My House and All I Got Was This Lousy Traffic Jam.

 

"We. Are on. A mission. To destroy. Ths bitch's. Plans for the day."

 

President Obama was in Cincinnati yesterday.

Ummmm, yeah. He drove (or rather was driven) right by my house.

How interesting. How exciting.

What a pain in the ass.

If I had the time to keep up with current events, I would have known this was coming. But I don’t, so I didn’t.

As I posted previously, we were on a mission yesterday. Upon picking Evan up from school, we had a million and one places to go in order to be on-time to an appointment to get the boys’ photos taken at a local park. It all started with John going down the hill to get gas. And then we couldn’t get back up the hill. They had blocked traffic. We thought maybe there had been an accident, so we turned down a side street to go a different route. And got stuck again. We were wondering what the hell was going on, if Armageddon had happened without out knowledge. It was like the entire area was on lockdown. Turns out it really was. All because Obama’s caravan, or whatever it is, went down I-75 right by our house.

I heard from a friend that he was scheduled to appear in order to speak about the Brent Spence Bridge, and how it is so important to this area. If you don’t know, this bridge is a double-decker I-75/ I-71 bridge across the Ohio River. It is an artery to Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky. We travel it a gazillion times a week. Without it, this region of the country would shut down. Without it, nobody would be able to travel the interstate. It’s old as dirt, and Obama says it needs to be replaced. And he is proposing that money be spent doing so.

In order to get his point across, he decided to travel to Cincinnati to speak on the importance of this bridge. What would we do without it, after all? Oh, the irony!

His way of conveying the importance of this bridge for the people of this area? To shut down the entire area by making a brief appearance and shutting down the bridge. We couldn’t go anywhere. We couldn’t even give up, because we couldn’t even get back to our own friggin’ house. They had our road blocked. I even tried to call a friend to see if she had any alternate routes in mind that I had not thought of, as I had two hungry kids in the car. Well, guess what I learned! I learned that when the president comes through, they disable cell phones, too. Only for the brief time that he is in the immediate area, but nonetheless…For about 10 minutes, our phones were in “emergency only” mode. No data, no cell service. I was seriously getting pissed. I paid the phone bill, after all. Why didn’t I have service? This baffled me, but John, of a military background, reminded me that there are crazies out there who actually arm and detonate bombs with cell phones these days. Obviously that isn’t us, but I got it after he explained it to me.

But really? To speak on the importance of our roads and bridges to this area, you’re going to shutdown the area? We know it’s important, now please let us get on with our day. We have shit to do and you are keeping us from doing it. I was starting to daydream from the passenger seat of me barrelling through the barricade set up by the Secret Service to get to my house, of seeing my car on CNN with me behind the wheel, on a mission to get my kids some food so they could get to their appointment. “Deranged Lady in Orange Dodge Disregards Roadblock, States Children Had Photog Appointment”. Just when I was about to lose it, some man in a black sport jacket and dark sunglasses removed the orange cones and we made it through.

I cannot make this shit up.

The Brent Spence. See how important it is? Now let me through, bitches.

>Police Women of Cincinnati

>

I’ve been pondering how I feel about this show A) as a somewhat-feminist, and B) as a woman, and C) as native of Cincinnati.

Oh Hell.

I have to admit that the show is entertaining. John and I have been known to watch it. And it is sort of amusing to see these locations on the small screen and know exactly where they are showing/ talking about. And then it sinks in. That there are others out there who have never been here to Cincy and have no idea that the areas they are showing are our inner city, and this is not the whole of my hometown. Can they not just show a few traffic stops in some of the nice areas just so the rest of the world can know that they exist. So there’s that- the sheer embarrassment.

And then I am full of girl pride for some killer women out there handling business. Go, girls.

But really? Really really? If these officers were men, they wouldn’t have their own show. Well, there’s Cops, but they include both male and female officers. Does TLC’s making a show about women officers mean that it is an extraordinary thing? That this is abnormal? I mean, I’m not trying to belittle the bravery of any law enforcement—male or female—who put their butts on the line to keep us safe. I could not imagine a job where I had to strap on kevlar to start my workday. But why the big distinction between man and woman if we are equal in the workplace?

So I don’t know how I feel about this show. I’ll just have to keep watching until I figure it out.

thumbnailImage: Officer Colleen,, of TLC’s Police Women of Cincinnati, getting ready to kick some ass and take some names.

>Here?

>http://www.kypost.com/video/videoplayer.swf?dppversion=2979This happened here, in Northern Kentucky. I came out of work Sunday morning, where John was there to pick me up after my shift, and he immediately told me to be quiet as he was listening to the radio host talk about an incident that had occurred in my own area. Of course the interview on the radio was rather one-sided and I got the impression that the woman in the restaurant was actually topless. With that in mind, and even as a breastfeeding mother, I sided with the restaurant. I believe we should have the right to feed our babies in public, and the law is on our side, but there is no need to flaunt it, and I think discretion is called for. I personally am too self-conscious to nurse Zach in public without being hidden. Instead of fighting the sensibilities of others, I would just as soon go to my car. Of course my self-consciousness has led me on many occasions to give in and give Zach bottles of pumped milk while out on trips. Of course, this is bad. My pumped milk, in light of my supply issues, really is precious to us and should be saved for my long hours at work.
So all of this has me thinking about the whole ordeal. I think the views of the public keep me from just whipping out my boob whenever Zach is hungry, but my own misgivings would keep me covered even if my breastfeeding in public would solicit applause from a crowd.
So back to this woman…She was vilified, and now I am appalled at the restaurant. Of course they made it sound like she was topless, which is now obviously not the case. But what of the people who complained?
The restaurant owner was on the radio speaking of how there were 8 year old boys in the restaurant at the time. And I happened to think of my own 8-year-old boy and my breastfeeding. And sadly, I could relate. Evan understands that the way I have chosen to feed Zach really is what is best for Zach and I both. With that in mind, it is not something that should be hidden from Evan. But then there is the conservative part of me who cannot get past the idea of exposing myself to my son at a time when he is most impressionable and curious about the differences between male and female. So for my own comfort, we have elected for me to pump and nurse out of Evan’s sight. He knows what I am doing. We tell him. He laughs when he holds Zach and Zach roots, looking to nurse against Evan’s chest. He’ll tell his baby brother that he doesn’t make milk as he giggles. He understands the process. It is all about personal comfort for us. But I am not going to force that on anyone else, and if this woman was feeding her baby in front of Evan, I wouldn’t care.
And the bathroom….Really? Does the manager eat in the bathroom? Especially a public restroom! What do you think of when you think of public restrooms? Germ-laden. Gross. Dirty. Not exactly appetizing, is it?
So overall, I am appalled that this happened here. I am aghast at the way they presented this woman to the media, in such a way that another breastfeeding mother was even siding with the restaurant and labeling her as a fight-picker. I really thought this area was more progressive than that.